THE historic Good Friday ban on the sale of alcohol in Ireland has finally been lifted.
After a vote in the Dáil this afternoon, the Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill will be signed into law by President Higgins before Easter this year.
It will mark the first time in more than 90 years that alcoholic beverages will be available in Ireland on the last Friday before Easter Sunday.
The ban was first introduced in 1927 as part of a broader legislative act which further prohibited the sale of alcohol on Christmas Day and St Patrick’s Day.
The ban was largely influenced by the Catholic Church, which wanted the aforementioned holidays to be observed in a 'sincere and dignified' manner
Speaking about the new bill in the Dáil this afternoon, Minister of State David Stanton said: "It has been drafted to ensure that the removal of the restriction applies not only to public houses and off-licences, but also to hotels, holiday camps, registered clubs and restaurants.
"The bill will provide for the comprehensive and consistent application of licencing law on Good Friday.
"The Government believes that the time is right to end the restrictions on the sale of intoxicating liquor on good Friday".
He added: "We live in a much different society than we did when the restrictions were put in place."
Supporters of the bill - which was introduced by Independent Senator Billy Lawless - have argued that lifting the alcohol ban on Good Friday will benefit tourism and businesses while discouraging binge drinking.
Having now passed through both the Seanad and Dáil Eireann, the legislation will now move through the Áras to be signed into law next week - and will then take immediate effect.